We’re visual people living in a visual world. In fact, according to statistics from MIT, 90% of the information our brains process is visual. This would help explain why we’re constantly glued to our smartphone screens. For marketers not to appreciate this simple fact of biology and modern life would be detrimental to their advertising strategies.
Take video for example. We all know how popular videos are in modern culture. Consider these whopping statistics: 78% of all people anywhere watch videos every week, and 55% of all people watch some kind of video every day. Once you factor in that many people are watching video on mobile devices you begin to understand why it’s so vital to incorporate a winning strategy into every aspect of your marketing. Here’s how to do just that.
Optimize your video for mobile
This goes to the point referenced above, and it is mandatory for all marketers in this day and age. Optimizing your video content for mobile is the first step in this overall strategy, but this doesn’t involve merely linking to YouTube videos on your mobile-optimized website. That’s because, despite being the second-most visited site after Google, YouTube lacks annotation features that would allow marketers to add proper CTAs and take immediate action.
The solution is to focus on your own optimized website. Embed YouTube videos on your blog and landing pages, and pay attention to the small details. For example, when embedding YouTube videos on your website, check to verify if the thumbnail and splash-screen images you select look as good on mobile screens as they do on desktop (scaling videos down to mobile size will often negatively affect picture quality).
Ultimately, eschewing links and adding videos to your own site gives you full control of the optimization and allows you to more easily move your prospects down the sales funnel.
Just as the world of digital technology changes, so to does the definition of visual content. We should not think of video clips the same way we did 10 years ago with the rise of YouTube, or even the same way as we think about television commercials. You don’t have to produce a video that runs for 30 seconds like a traditional ad; in fact you should think outside the box.
For example, consider taking a page from social ad formats and use the creative tools that many brands are now investing in. Carousel ads allow you to string multiple videos together on a single Facebook or Instagram post. These types of ads are driving more traffic than traditional video spots anyway, so why not get on board?
Then there’s all the modern visual design trends you can add to boost your video. One example is the cinemagraph, which blends still images and video to create “living photos.” Another is Instagram’s wildly popular stop-motion/GIF boomerang feature that brands are leveraging for success. The point is to use all creative tools at your disposal to drive better results and help yourself stand out from the competition.
Keep your videos short
This might be the most fundamental strategy of all (and also the simplest one to implement). Another reason we can’t look at modern video marketing the same way advertisers do the :30 TV spot is because modern audiences simply don’t have 30-second attention spans anymore.
People want “snackable” content that they can enjoy between all the other bits of digital stimuli competing for their attention at any given point throughout the day. There’s even a famous study, reported in Time Magazine, that suggests the average person now has an attention span of eight seconds—one second shorter than a goldfish.
Also, millennials, that generation much coveted by marketers, have made it abundantly clear that they prefer short-form video content to long form. So if you want to truly appeal to the audiences of today, you should err on the side of brevity with your video content.
Implement video software
One fool-proof way to maximize the potential for the video you’ve incorporated is to implement a solid video software into your system. This will facilitate all the strategies mentioned above, and there are a number of programs out there that can help.
For example, there are video software tools that excel at hosting and managing video, live-streaming content, helping to simplify video management workflows, boosting corporate communications, increasing video lead generation, creating video specific websites, and more. There are even tools out there to help align your sales and marketing departments. The key is to find the right solution for your operation.
These are just a few best practices for incorporating video into your marketing strategy. There are plenty of other little tricks and tactics as well, such as ensuring all your splash screens are responsive; adding bold images to your splash screens to make them visually compelling; and using different video thumbnail sizes for different screens (depending on whether you’re designing for tablets or smartphones). The overall point is you should try and use all modern tools at your disposal while taking into account how the generation of today enjoys their video content.